Thursday, March 5, 2009

Don't Be Fooled

Don't be fooled by the cute little baby on the left. It is all a ruse to draw you in - to catch you with your guard down - to play on your emotions. Then once he has spun you into his little web and you are hopelessly trapped and besotted with him - WHAMO! You wake up and he is eleven!

Eleven is a particularly *ahem* wonderful year full of fun and adventure, from which you may never recover. They try your patience, ask impertinent questions, emit noxious fumes, emote obnoxious sounds and just down right test the limits of the saintliest parent. I think what helps you to get through it with some of your sanity intact is to remember him as that angelic little babe who lit up a room with his gorgeous smile.

When you are hanging on by a fingernail it helps to recall how he used to pull at your hair with his chubby, grubby little paws as he reached up to kiss you on the cheek. When he says "Mom, don't come up to the school today, okay?", remember how ecstatic you were the day he learned to talk and you swore right then and there that there was no sweeter sound in the whole world. Call to mind that exaltation also when he is running through the house making random noises for no apparent reason other than to hear the sound of his own voice.

Whenever he complains about how his life stinks because he is not allowed to do everything his older sister and bother do, it is helpful to remember the determination that was evident on his face, when he got up on those two wobbly little legs at 9 months old and stepped out with the tenacity only a baby can have; he wanted to keep up with the big guys.

Just when you are frustrated beyond all rationality at his very presence, recall a time when you would go in his room at night just to watch him sleep; you would smooth his blond head and gaze at him with rapture, knowing that no matter what, you would never grow tired of drinking him in. Hold fast to that thought. Eleven is a bumpy ride.